I Hate the Phone

BellFor all my talk about the importance of having conversations with customers, I actually really dislike talking on the phone with people.  It all started when I was a just-turned-teenager, and some of my friends were starting to get into the phone-addiction phase that many adolescents do.  Conversations would go like: 

Friend: “Hey, wanna come over and watch the game?  It starts in 15 minutes.”

Me: “Sure! I’ll be right over.”

Friend: “Did you hear about what Andrew did at school today?”

Me: “No, but let’s talk about it when I’m there in 15 minutes.”

Nowadays, my irritation is more around the requisite polite communications conventions that go with a phone conversation.  Hi, how are you.  How about those Red Sox.  How was your weekend? Some thunderstorm last night, huh?  My preferred method of communication, email, avoids all that.  And it’s asynchronous, so questions and replies are at my schedule (and the other party’s); not demanding instant response.  Perhaps I’d be even happier if we all still communicated by post and the phone and internet didn’t even exist – then there would be a delay of days  between query and reply.

Even instant messaging has most of the problems of telephoning, including the “polite” requirements: Hi ru there?  KThxBye.  I find the measure of how comfortable I am with the people I work with is the degree to which these can be eliminated.  My closest colleagues don’t get salutations on their emails or even the “S.” that I usually sign with.




3 Responses to “I Hate the Phone”

  1. Workus Interruptus « About Bars & Marketing - by Stephen Brooks Says:

    […] September 29, 2008 — Stephen Brooks Gaaaa!  I’ve written before about how I hate the phone, but there is a new top nemesis to my productivity: Instant […]

  2. When Did My Cell Number Get Published? « About Bars & Marketing - by Stephen Brooks Says:

    […] Get Published? February 5, 2009 — Stephen Brooks As I’ve mentioned before, I hate the telephone.  However, I actually have a cell phone anyway, for emergencies and the like.  As my stated goal […]

  3. abutterflyloves Says:


    Your post is how I have felt about the phone for years.

    Now, let me first say, I OWN A BLACKBERRY. But If I could shut the “voice” off, I would in a heart beat.

    Every one knows that my preferred communication is either email, text, IM. Why must people waste time gabbing about nothing? My husband of almost 18 years would die without his phone. He calls me on the way to work, lunch, break, on the way home. It’s insane. I work in an office, and the ONLY reason I even have it on is because I have Clients and Employees that might need to get a hold of me if I am off site. But still, he calls. 85% of the time I am listening to him smoke a cigarette.

    I never even thought about your example of the BS niceties. How’s the weather, or the normal BS words people use on the phone as a prelude to why they called.

    I have thought about having my voice box removed after I retire.

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